Other Reports

Tilt Train Technology: A State of the Art Survey

  • 01
  • May
  • 1992
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Facilities & Test Equipment
KEYWORDS: Curving Mechanics, Tilt-Body Technologies, Tilt Operations
ABSTRACT: This report presents a survey of the technical and operational features of existing and planned tilt-body rail passenger vehicles. It follows the general format of the December 1990 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Report entitled, "Safety Relevant Observations on the X2000 Tilting Train," (DOT/FRA/ ORD-90/14; NTIS: PB 91-12-9668) but with a broader scope. The most significant implications of tilt- body technologies are for the tradeoffs and compromises that have been, and continue to be made between the "best" track for freight operations and the "best" track for passenger operations or where space and/or economic constraints limit options for performance improvement. This report presents and discusses basic concepts of railroad route selection, track geometry, the physics of curve negotiation, the rationale for body tilting, the advantages and disadvantages associated with body tilting, and the techniques used to achieve body tilt. An overview is provided of the development status and selected key characteristics of the tilt technologies examined in this survey. Issues associated with deployment and operation of tilt-body technologies in the United States are identified and discussed, including an overview of U.S. experience, areas of incompatibility with existing U.S. equipment and infrastructure, special maintenance procedures and skill requirements, and compliance with FRA and other regulations.